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How to Protect Yourself from UPI Fraud?

By Finserv MARKETS - Dec 5,2019
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How to protect yourself from UPI fraud

India has become the country with most advanced system of payments in the world. This giant leap has been powered by UPI (Universal Payment Interface) and IMPS (Immediate Payment System). IMPS allow p2p (peer to peer) transfer of low value amount from one payer bank account to beneficiary bank account in real time. UPI provides an account addressing services allowing payees to receive money without sharing their bank account details.

As per the latest statistics from NPCI (National Payment Corporation of India), who runs the UPI system 141 banks currently support with over 90 crore payments made in the month August 2019 aggregating to an amount of Rs. 1,50,000 crores. This shows a significant adoption of this payment system in the country as the preferred digital payment mechanism. However along with the digital growth comes the risk of cyber fraud.

A consumer can protect himself by being vigilant and aware of fraudsters. Some of the ways fraudsters operate are as follows:

Paying vs. receiving money

UPI being an advanced payment system has both send and receive capability. The receive capability allows a user to request money from another user as a payment request. A fraudster operates by sending payment request to an unsuspecting consumer. The consumer approves the request thinking he is receiving money while ends up paying. The consumer can protect himself by being aware that receiving money does not require any approval and be very careful before approving any transaction.

Spam warnings & phishing links

The payment applications such as Google Pay maintain the list of fraudsters and would warn a consumer a payment request potentially being a spam. The consumer needs to be alert of such warning and not approve any such requests. Consumer also needs to be aware of email and SMS links (phishing) that open payment applications and ask user to act.

Fake or Fraud Applications

There are many fake applications created by fraudsters that seems to deliver capability like payments but use to access customer details and siphon money from their bank accounts. A user should only download and install applications from Google Play store and Apple Appstore and not download any application from links given in email & SMS. They should verify creator for the application in the Google Play or Apple App store.

Avoid using screen sharing applications

There are various screen sharing application e.g. Team Viewer, Screen share that allows people to share their screen with other users. However, such applications ask for approval for access to mobile screen. Consumer should be very careful of using such applications and do not grant permission of screen access without genuinely needing such applications.

Beyond all the above guidelines a consumer should be alert and read transaction SMS very carefully, do not share their Mobile PIN or UPI PIN with anyone and be suspect of anyone calling to give freebies and cashbacks. By following these guidelines a consumer can safely enjoy the benefits and convenience of the world’s best real time payment system.

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